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Features: The Many Faces of Food Security

When the term “food security” is spoken, one may conjure the images of a terrorist tainting the food supply as part of some covert operation. While that is very much a real threat in post-9/11 times, food security’s image is far from one-dimensional protection from terrorist attacks. In fact, food security is an ever-changing enigma with many faces, some of which threaten the safety and quality of food in all stages of the farm-to-fork supply chain.

Columns: What is Sanitation Technology?

This will be the first in a series of articles on sanitation technology, with the goal of providing some helpful information that you can incorporate into your sanitation program, bringing it to a new level. I have found that providing training beyond the obvious on-the-job training will clearly show the sanitation staff that there is purpose and importance in working to keep the plant clean and sanitary. An investment in formal training is an investment in your people.

Features: Food Safety Management Systems for the International Supply Chain

Standardized food safety and quality management have been well established in the United States and the European Union. Since much of the food industry is highly internationalized, both in general supply chain and in contract manufacturing, there are substantial business needs for internationally standardized safety and quality systems.

Features: Food Defense at the Federal Level

All this did to the plants that already had a plant security program in place was to have their regulatory essayist tap their delete button and type in “food defense” into their existing programs. For plants that didn’t have a food defense program in place, it should be a neon caveat for them to wake up and acknowledge that there exists, both domestically and internationally, a mushrooming insatiable 21st Century malediction that knows no boundaries: Terrorism.

Features: Think Like A Terrorist

The FDA cites incidents in other countries to highlight the importance of its watchdog role in food security. In 2002, a restaurant owner in China added chemicals to a competitor’s food, killing dozens of people and sending hundreds to the hospital. In another incident in 2002, three people were arrested in Jerusalem for allegedly planning a mass poisoning of patrons at a cafe. In January 2003, several people were arrested in London for plotting to add deadly ricin to the food supply on a British...

Departments: Don’t Let it Bug You

There is one common goal among all processing plants when it comes to pest control. That is, regardless if the pests are vertebrates, invertebrates, exoskeleton bugs, reptiles or mammals, there is a zero tolerance for pests to pace and soar inside processing facilities, including their direct exposures to the product, product contact surfaces and packaging materials. To successfully battle against pests, prudent food and beverage companies should develop a customized daily pest control management program...

Departments: BUZZ OFF!

Food safety is always a hot issue in the food-manufacturing world. After all, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) undersecretary reports that 14 people die from foodborne illness every day in the United States. Foodborne illnesses may only be one aspect of food safety, but it’s an important one. That’s why food manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure the security of their products, including employing an effective pest management program. Most people realize that...

Departments: For the Birds

Food handling facilities are sensitive environments where contaminants and adulterants must be carefully monitored and managed as the potential for causing human foodborne illnesses in large numbers of people is elevated. Birds and the accompanying contaminants and adulterants they bring are causes for great concern in, on, or around food facilities. A number of bird species, including pigeons, sparrows, starlings, seagulls, crows, swallows, and occasionally birds of prey, are often found at food...

Departments: Cleanliness is Next to Effectiveness

Employee handwashing is considered to be among the most effective ways to help control the spread of illnesses in foodservice operations. Although this point is generally accepted as fact, proper handwashing practices are often inadequate for a variety of reasons.

Departments: Pre-Employment Screening: Same Methods, Different Marketplace

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, had great impact on the food industry, but not necessarily in the way one would think. One might assume that terror threats drastically altered the processes staffing firms have used for pre-employment screening with an eye toward food safety. However, the reality is quite the contrary. The food industry has long relied on the stringent processes used by top staffing firms to pre-screen food scientists, microbiologists, etc. for research and development and manufacturing...

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August/September 2014

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